Brooke Robinson

Brooke Robinson (1836–1911) was a British Conservative Party politician, who was MP for Dudley and held a number of public posts including that of County Coroner for Dudley. He also was an art collector and benefactor whose legacy was the Town Hall and a museum in the town of Dudley.


Brooke Robinson, son of William Robinson and Harriet (née Johnson),[1] was born at Dudley on 11 September 1836. His unusual first name, Brooke, was the maiden name of one of his great-great-grandmothers and had subsequently been adopted as a given name by some of her descendants.[2] Robinson was educated at Rugby.[3] He was admitted as an Attorney at Law and Solicitor in Chancery in 1857.[3] He practiced in Dudley until 1874.

He was elected unopposed as county coroner for the Dudley district on 9 August 1860 at a special County Court held at the New Town Hall, Dudley.[4] His father, William Robinson, had been the previous holder of the post.[5]

Robinson married Eugenia Collis, the daughter of George Richard Collis of Stourton Castle, on 10 March 1870.[3]

He was a lieutenant in the Worcestershire Yeomanry between 1871 and 1877.[3]

Brooke Robinson first stood for Parliament at Dudley in 1885 when he was defeated by the long-established sitting MP, Henry Brinsley Sheridan.[6] Subsequently, however, he was elected four times as MP for Dudley: in 1886, 1892, 1895 and 1900. He represented the Conservative Party during this time. Robinson was the first local man to be elected as MP for Dudley since Thomas Hawkes resigned the position in 1844. Local Tories emphasized this with the slogan 'A Dudley man for Dudley'.[7] Robinson was a supporter of an 8 hour working day, free education, reform of the Poor Law and industrial arbitration.[7]

He made the decision not to stand for the 1906 election on health grounds.[8]

Brooke Robinson died on 20 October 1911 at his home, Barford House,[9] which is near Warwick, and was buried at St Thomas’s Church, Dudley.[8]


Brooke Robinson left a sum of money as well as his collection of art, furniture, ceramics, and other items for the benefit of the town of Dudley. The money was eventually used to construct the Town Hall, a Coroner's Court and a museum.[1][10] The museum, known as the Brooke Robinson Museum, opened on 18 May 1931.[11] In 1979, the museum trustees agreed to the collection being moved to the Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.[12]

Parliamentary election resultsEdit

General election 1885 Dudley[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Brinsley Sheridan 6,377
Conservative Brooke Robinson 5,211
Majority 1,166
Liberal hold Swing
1886 General Election: Dudley
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Brooke Robinson 6,475
Liberal Henry Brinsley Sheridan 4,545
Majority 1,930
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
General election 1892 Dudley[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Brooke Robinson 6,668
Liberal Hon. Howard Spensley 5619
Majority 1,049
Conservative hold Swing
General election 1895 Dudley[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Brooke Robinson 6,536
Liberal C.J. Fleming 5,795
Majority 741
Conservative hold Swing
General election 1900 Dudley[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Brooke Robinson 6461
Liberal W. Belcher 5876
Majority 585
Conservative hold Swing


  1. ^ a b "More about Brooke Robinson Museum". BBC -Your Paintings. Art UK. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  2. ^ Robinson, Brooke (1896). "Genealogical memoirs of the family of Brooke Robinson of Dudley : together with the kindred families of Wood, Hector, Brooke, Persehouse, Saffery, and Johnson". London: Nichols and Sons. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Williams, W.R. (1897). "The parliamentary history of the county of Worcester". Hereford. p. 184. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  4. ^ "The Coronership". Worcestershire Chronicle. 23 (1, 182). 15 August 1860. p. 3.
  5. ^ "The Coronership". Aris's Birmingham Gazette. 119 (6195). 4 August 1860. p. 5.
  6. ^ a b c d e Vincent, J (1971). McCalmont's Parliamentary Poll Book (8th ed.). Brighton, UK: The Harvester Press. p. 72 (Section II). ISBN 0855270004.
  7. ^ a b Trainor, Richard (1993). Black Country Elites. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 222–230. ISBN 0198203551.
  8. ^ a b "BROOKE ROBINSON MP AND HIS MUSEUM LEGACY". Black Country Bugle. Local World. 6 July 2006. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Mr. Brooke Robinson". Times. 23 October 1911.
  10. ^ "The Town Hall, Coroner's Court, Former Sessions Court and Brooke Robinson Museum, St James's, Dudley". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  11. ^ "BROOKE ROBINSON MUSEUM". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  12. ^ Glews, Peter (2009). Dudley Through Time. Stroud: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781848686212.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Brinsley Sheridan
Member of Parliament for Dudley
Succeeded by
Arthur George Hooper